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Hyman to lead Canada East at Junior 'A' Challenge

Tuesday, 10.26.2010 / 12:01 PM / Prospects

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

Zach Hyman, a center selected by the Florida Panthers in the fifth round of the 2010 Entry Draft, highlights Canada East's roster for the World Junior 'A' Challenge, to be held Nov. 8-14 in Penticton, B.C.

Players selected come from the Ontario Junior Hockey League, Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League, Central Hockey League, Ligue de hockey junior AAA du Quebec and Maritime Hockey League.

Todd Gill, who spent 19 seasons in the NHL, will coach the team. He currently coaches Brockville in the CHL.


Trio of '10 picks to lead Canada West at tourney

Monday, 10.25.2010 / 5:44 PM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

Three players selected at the 2010 Entry Draft will headline the 22-player roster for Canada West at the 2010 World Junior 'A' Challenge in Penticton, B.C., next month.

Canada West, one of two Canadian teams competing in the six-team tournament slated for Nov. 8-14 at the South Okanagan Events Centre, has appeared in the gold-medal game at all four previous World Junior 'A' Challenges. The club has settled for silver medals the last two years after winning gold in the first two events.

The Canada West roster includes 2010 draftees defenseman Benjamin Gallacher (Panthers, fourth round), right wing Mark MacMillan (Canadiens, fourth round) and center Brendan O'Donnell (Lightning, sixth round). Gallacher and O'Donnell are also two of seven returnees from last year's tournament, along with Clarke Breitkreuz, Madison Dias, Grayson Downing, Joey Laleggia and Ryan Marshall.

Ambroz, '10 picks to lead U.S. at Junior 'A' tourney

Monday, 10.25.2010 / 12:59 PM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

Six players chosen in the 2010 Entry Draft will make up the 22-player roster for the U.S. Junior Select Team that hopes to defend its title at the World Junior 'A' Challenge in Penticton, B.C., next month.

All of the players selected to the team currently are competing in the United States Hockey League, the nation's only Tier 1 junior hockey league. P.K. O'Handley, coach and general manager of the USHL's Waterloo Black Hawks, will serve as coach.

The list includes Sioux City right wing Max Gaede, a third-round pick of the Sharks; Fargo center James Mullin, a fourth-round pick of the Lightning; Sioux City center Caleb Herbert, who was taken in the fifth round by the Capitals; Cedar Rapids right wing Michael Parks, a fifth-round pick of the Flyers; Fargo goaltender Zane Gothberg, a sixth-round pick of the Bruins; and Indiana defenseman Nick Mattson, a sixth-round pick of the Blackhawks.


Gudbranson, Hishon to lead Team OHL in SuperSeries

Thursday, 10.21.2010 / 3:21 PM / Prospects

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

Seven NHL first-round draft picks will help the Ontario Hockey League when it faces Team Russia in two games as part of the 2010 Subway SuperSeries.

Team OHL will face Team Russia in two games -- Nov. 11 in London, Ont., and Nov. 15 in Sudbury, Ont.

Five skaters will take part in both games, including a pair of first-round picks from the 2010 Entry Draft -- Kingston Frontenacs defenseman Erik Gudbranson and Owen Sound Attack center Joey Hishon. Gudbranson was taken by the Florida Panthers with the third pick, while Hishon was taken No. 17 by the Colorado Avalanche.


Four top picks lead Team QMJHL for SuperSeries

Monday, 10.18.2010 / 3:54 PM / Prospects

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

Four NHL first-round draft picks will headline the team the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League uses for the 2010 Subway Super Series games against Team Russia.

Team QMJHL will face Team Russia in a pair of games -- Nov. 8 in Saint John, N.B., and Nov. 10 in Drummondville, Que.

Highlighting Team QMJHL are Moncton Wildcats defenseman Brandon Gormley, who the Phoenix Coyotes selected with the 13th pick of the 2010 Entry Draft, and Saint John Sea Dogs defenseman Simon Despres, the 30th pick of the 2009 Draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Quebec Remparts center Louis Leblanc, the 18th pick of the 2009 Draft by the Montreal Canadiens, and Philippe Paradis, taken No. 27 in the 2009 Draft by the Carolina Hurricanes but now belonging to the Chicago Blackhawks, also are on the team.


Hurricanes assign Boychuk to AHL team

Wednesday, 09.29.2010 / 3:06 PM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

"Zach had a good camp but not quite as good as we thought and, at this point, it's a numbers thing and we had to get our roster down."
-- Carolina General Manager Jim Rutherford

Forward Zach Boychuk is learning just how hard it is to crack the Carolina Hurricanes roster these days.

While it's true the Hurricanes are in a transitional period -- expected to have several first-year players sprinkled throughout the lineup -- the lightning-quick Boychuk won't be a part of the youth movement to start this season after he was assigned to the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League on Wednesday.

Boychuk, 20, was selected in the first round (No. 14) of the 2008 Entry Draft. The 5-foot-10, 185-pound wing, who produced 3 goals and 9 points in 31 games with the Hurricanes last season, also notched 15 goals and 36 points in 52 contests with the AHL's Albany River Rats. In 237 career games in the Western Hockey League with the Lethbridge Hurricanes (2005-06 through 2008-09), Boychuk had 110 goals and 271 points.

Brock Beukeboom growing into defense role

Wednesday, 09.29.2010 / 9:00 AM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

Making the transition from forward to defense is certainly no easy task on any level.

But one could only imagine the heartfelt intentions former defenseman and four-time Stanley Cup winner Jeff Beukeboom had in store when he suggested his son, Brock, make such a swap.

Adding to the pressure was the fact the younger Beukeboom would be switching positions just prior to his initial season in the Ontario Hockey League with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.

In 2007-08, Beukeboom played for the Central Ontario AAA Wolves and was selected No. 18 by the Greyhounds during the 2008 OHL priority draft.


Positive reviews for Stepan after top-line performance

Friday, 09.24.2010 / 11:56 AM / Prospects

Dave Lozo - Staff Writer

Derek Stepan showed Thursday that not only is he ready to skate in the NHL, but he can do so with the top guns of the New York Rangers

The 20-year-old center found himself center the first line, between right wing Marian Gaborik and left wing Alexander Frolov, during the Rangers' 4-3 preseason victory against the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden.

Stepan looked calm, sharp and comfortable with the talent around him while picking up an assist on Gaborik's first-period power-play goal. 

Stepan later played on a line with Brandon Dubinsky and Ruslan Fedotenko, which allowed center Erik Christensen time with Gaborik and Frolov. But Stepan's performance as the Rangers' first-line center during the first two periods proved he can handle the pressure. 


Pro deal something else Skinner can smile about

Tuesday, 09.21.2010 / 12:43 PM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

"What I think I like most is it looks like he's having fun out there all the time. He's got a smile on his face and tongue hanging out and wants to do things to help the team. He's a young guy who wasn't on pins and needles worrying about making a mistake. He wants to create things with the puck and I thought that was great."
-- Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice

Jeff Skinner, selected by the Carolina Hurricanes with the seventh pick of the 2010 Entry Draft, is all about having fun and making plays.

It's a combination that not only is infectious -- he genuinely loves the game and doesn't hide that fact -- but made a believer of Hurricanes General Manager Jim Rutherford.

Don't think for a second Rutherford wasn't grinning ear-to-ear when his prized prospect finished as co-scoring leader of the recently completed Traverse City NHL Prospects Tournament, with 7 points on a tournament-high 21 shots on goal.

With a few roster spots still vacant prior to the season-opener Oct. 7 against the Minnesota Wild in Helsinki, Rutherford signed the 18-year-old Skinner to a three-year, entry-level contract Tuesday prior to the team's preseason opener against the Florida Panthers.

Canuck prospect Volpatti feeling right at home

Friday, 09.17.2010 / 4:08 PM / Prospects

Ryan Pinder - Correspondent

PENTICTON, B.C. -- Aaron Volpatti's always played some of his best hockey here. Now, he is making a case for a full-time roster spot with the Vancouver Canucks after a strong showing at the Canucks Top Prospects Tournament.

Volpatti, from Revelstoke, B.C., played his junior hockey two hours north of Penticton with the Vernon Vipers – the six-time Canadian Junior A National champions. To put it mildly, the Vees -- Penticton's Junior A team -- and the Vipers don't get along, have never gotten along, and never will get along.

Accustomed to playing big games every time he visited Penticton as a player, it seemed quite fitting to Volpatti that his quest to be a professional began here Sunday.

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Quote of the Day

It is really special. I had a lot of friends and family here tonight, and for my first [NHL] game in here it was great. I played here as an elementary-school player in the city championships and this was my first time back. It was a lot of fun..

— Toronto native Brandon Pirri after scoring 2 goals for Panthers in win at Maple Leafs on Thursday